West Papua (AKA Irian Jaya) is both the disgrace of Indonesia (not that Jakarta cares) and of the so called civilized western world, including the UN. Make no bones about it, Indonesia is an occupying human rights abusing force in West Papua; an island whose people deserve our grateful thanks, not treachery. With what follows you should get an accurate feel for just how nasty and low the Indonesian authorities and those that support and live off them really are.
Brief history of West Papua
Papuans are of Melanesian decent, not “Indonesian”; so Jakarta has no ethnic claim to it. Papua was divided up by the Dutch, English and Germans in 1895 on paper, although the Dutch were the only ones to have any true physical presence on the island having sent Christian missionaries there as early as 1860; hence Dutch was extensively spoken there and Christianity so widespread.
In 1905 the British government renamed their territory to Papua and in 1906 transferred total responsibility for it to Australia. During WWI, the Australian military took control of German New Guinea. In 1920 the Eastern (non-Dutch) area called renamed the Papua and New Guinea became a League of Nations mandated territory of Australia.
In 1936 a Dutch geology team who were also secretly working for American Standard Oil discovered the world's richest gold & copper deposits but kept the fact secret from both the Papuan and Dutch Authorities.
In the 1940’s Sumatra and Java teamed up with Japan in their war against the west; that’s right, Indonesia as we now know it fought with the Japanese against the west. Although the Papuans were ill equipped to fight back when the Japanese invaded in 1942, they denied the Japanese assistance and access to local provisions; as a result an estimated two thirds of original Japanese invasion force died from starvation and thirst. However when the US and allied forces liberated Papua, the Papuans openly welcomed and helped the western forces as friends. Papua was deemed so safe that Gen. MacArthur built his headquarters and stationed 500,000 American troops there. Had it not been for the bravery and friendship of Papua during the Second World War, Australia may well have been invaded by the Japanese.
In 1945 near defeated Tokyo appointed Sukarno and Hatta as leaders, then shortly after Sukarno broadcast his claim to be the leader of Java and Sumatra and of all the countries which had ever been under Dutch governance. Despite the fact Indonesia was an axis power and Sukarno (father of Megawati) an axis leader who was actually decorated by the Japanese, nothing was ever done about them or him. In 1949 the UN created the United States of Indonesia with Sukarno as president of some 16 states (including Bali), even though he only then controlled two of them; after 8 months of fighting various factions with various claims to parts of Indonesia, Sukarno exerted control over all 16 states. In 1950 Sukarno demanded the Dutch hand over West Papua to them or he would nationalize all Dutch businesses in Indonesia, but the Dutch refused. Sukarno and Indonesia’s only claim to West Papua was and still is that is was a Dutch colony.
In 1960, unbeknown to the Dutch and Papuans, the US Freeport Mining Company was reportedly negotiating with the Indonesians for exclusive rights to mine in West Papua; hmmmmm! How did Freeport know they needed to negotiate with the Indonesians, not the Papuans? After the Dutch prepared West Papua for independence, in 1961 the State of West Papua was born with credible infrastructure and its own flag; Indonesia tried to invade, but were defeated. The Netherlands maintained it was prepared to stand alongside the Papuan people and fight off any Indonesian invasion.
In 1961 Indonesia’s Sukarno threatened the US President Kennedy that it would become a communist state unless West Papua was given to them. Despite opposition from the US Secretary of State and the American people, the USA shamefully blackmailed the Netherlands into passing control of West Papua to Indonesia in 1963 on the basis Indonesia would allow a fair referendum of Papuans to decide whether they wanted to be ruled by Jakarta or be independent. After Jakarta took control, they started their bloody history of Papuan human rights offences by killing members of the West Papuan Government and other local pro-Independence leaders.
In 1965 / 1966 Suharto led a right wing military coup which overthrew Sukarno’s coalition government with the help of the United States and Britain; the CIA and MI5 provided the names of thousands of suspected Indonesian communists who were all tortured and put to death. In 1967 the US Freeport company secured its 30 year license to mine West Papua for gold & copper which it had found and kept secret from the Dutch since 1936. After 8 years of mounting International pressure after trying to officially renege on their promise, the Indonesian military finally held a sham referendum in Irian Jaya (West Papua) involving not all Papuan people but just 1022 hand picked Papuans which resulted in a “landslide victory” for the pro-Indonesians.
Other pertinent events to show how nasty Indonesia is;
1962 The Indonesian backed Kalimantan National Army tried to capture the Sultan of Brunei, seize the country’s oil fields and take European hostages.
1963 to 1965 Indonesia commits many military incursions into and tries to invade neighboring Malaysia but is defeated.
1975 Indonesia invades East Timor.
1991 Indonesian Government tolerated al-Qaeda linked terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya, widely speculated to receive Indonesian Army assistance, in league with fellow terrorists the Abu Sayyaf Group start their bombing campaign in the Philippines.
2001 to 2004 Indonesia used an estimated 50,000+ security personnel, including Kopassus special forces troops (these are notorious for their use of abduction, torture and assassination to suppress political opposition) to fight 5,000 poorly equipped Aceh independence “rebels”. Following embarrassing losses, Indonesian forces deliberately targeted innocent civilians with extra-judicial executions, forced disappearances, beatings, arbitrary arrests and detentions. In 2003, Indonesian police actually arrested Aceh’s pro-independence leaders who came out of hiding because they were on their way to peace talks with the Indonesian Government in Japan! Many believe the nasty and militarily incompetent Indonesian army would have lost control if it were not for the 2004 tsunami.
2002 Two American charity workers (teachers) were killed near the Freeport facility in circumstances which indicate Indonesian military involvement, as opposed to rebel involvement as claimed by the Indonesian Authorities. The head of the police investigation team, who the FBI originally said they wanted to question over inconsistencies in his investigation, was none other than Made Pastika, who went on to become Bali’s police chief. The US Justice Department later accepted Indonesia’s account but three Papua-based NGOs accused them of selling our for commercial and war on terror interests pointing out the rebel accused of the killings, Anthonius Wamang, was co-operating with the military at the time of the murders, and admitted getting ammunition used in the attack from army personnel. The US Congress had made resumption of assistance to the Indonesian army dependent on a satisfactory outcome from the investigation, hmmmm.
2006 Protests by Papuans demanding the closure of the Freeport mining facility because of resource theft, ecological damage (Freeport have dumped billions of tons of waste into the river system endangering many species) and greed (wages, work conditions and evicting small time goldpanners from a river they have been scratching a living from for years) are bloodily put down by security staff and Indonesian police. Indonesia refused to allow monitors into West Papua. Indonesia behaves like a nasty spoilt bully brat country they are when Jakarta blackmails Australia into recognizing West Papua officially as an Indonesian territory in return for security concessions.
Other pertinent West Papuan / Indonesian information;
1) Australia does very well out of Freeport West Papua; its’ logistical and supply base is in Cairns.
2) The massive British Australian mining company Rio Tinto is a major supporter of Freeport.
3) Bakrie Brothers of Indonesia own 10% of PT Freeport Indonesia. Chairman Aburizal Bakrie is also the Indonesian Minister for Economics and reputed to be responsible for the death threat allegedly made to Australian underwear model Michelle Leslie while she was in a Bali jail unless she kept their name out of matters (Bakrie’s son was apparently in the car with Ms. Leslie).
4) BHP-Billiton the massive Australian resources company is to operate a controversial and very large open pit nickel mine on Gag Island and allegedly is refusing to rule out using open ocean dumping “techniques” which are unlawful in their home country and which will almost certainly create an environmental disaster for Gag’s hitherto pristine coral reef.
5) British Petroleum is about to commence production at their massive Tangguh LNG Gas Project (3 gas fields) in West Papua.
6) We understand every year Freeport’s CEO Jim Bob Moffett earns around US$41 million. Local West Papuan residents have reportedly been offered just US$14 million total in compensation.
When you consider the thousands of people displaced and murdered in West Papua, when you consider the billions of dollars western companies and the Indonesian Government have made out of West Papua, you will probably understand why foreign governments tolerate Indonesia’s control over this island and the desecration of their natural environment. The West Papuan people did nothing to deserve this and in fact in the past helped and showed us friendship when we most needed it; friendship we clearly do not deserve.
To help West Papua become free again in spite of our own nasty, greedy governments and nasty Jakarta, please boycott Bali / Indonesia and instead donate money to one of the support groups; West Papua Freedom Support Groups